Recog­ni­tion for leg­end

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

colt with a Mata­mata con­nec­tion was charg­ing to the line in the A$500,000 fea­ture.

That horse was Cri­te­rion, a grad­u­ate of lo­cal nurs­ery Bland­ford Lodge and rac­ing in the colours of his breeder, Sir Owen Glenn. Un­for­tu­nately Sir Owen was ab­sent on busi­ness in Eng­land on a weekend when not only did his best race­horse score a Group One win, but his Auck­land War­riors rugby league team re­found form with a win over the Tigers in Welling­ton on Satur­day night.

This time last year Cri­te­rion was a leading Golden Slip­per Stakes can­di­date with wins in the Black Opal and Tod­man Stakes. He man­aged a use­ful sixth in the big ju­ve­nile event and re­turned last spring to com­pile a frus­trat­ing run of plac­ings, in­clud­ing sec­ond in the Spring Cham­pion Stakes and fourth in the VRC Derby.

Back for the au­tumn, an­other Group One plac­ing fol­lowed in the Aus­tralian Guineas, so it was a thor­oughly de­served re­sult when he claimed the Rose­hill Guineas, which now has him at the top of the bet­ting for the A$2 mil­lion Aus­tralian Derby.

Back in Mata­mata, Sir Owen’s Bland­ford Lodge part­ner Gra­ham Bax was en­joy­ing the Syd­ney win, not just be­cause the colt was foaled and reared at home but be­cause a close re­la­tion will be one of the stud’s year­ling draft to be of­fered at the Syd­ney Easter Sale next week.

The Bax name was also to the fore at Awa­puni on Satur­day, with Gra­ham, his wife He­lenGaye and daugh­ter Kylie in­volved in the own­er­ship of fi­nal race win­ner Lilly Belle.

Un­der the train­ing of Phil Stevens, the Sav­abeel mare has spent much of the past few weeks on the road, but to good ef­fect.

Two starts at last month’s Wairoa meet­ing pro­duced a first and a sec­ond, an­other win fol­lowed at Te Teko a fort­night ago, and on Satur­day she made the rise to pre­mier com­pany with a plucky win over 2100 me­tres.

Waikato Stud sire Sav­abeel had a big day at Awa­puni, headed by a win in the Gr. 2 Awa­puni Gold Cup by a sec­ond daugh­ter, So­ri­ano, and an­other to the tal­ented 3-year-old Kawi.

As­so­ciate sire O’Reilly was to the fore as well, with his two-yearold daugh­ter O’Mar­i­lyn win­ning the Gr. 1 Manawatu Sires’ Pro­duce Stakes and the five-yearold Pussy O’Reilly mare tak­ing her first black-type win in the Listed open sprint. Both So­ri­ano and Pussy O’Reilly were rid­den by that age­less vet­eran Noel Har­ris, while Pussy O’Reilly took Ken and Bev Kelso’s tally of black-type wins this sea­son to six.

Jim Marks: Flanked by col­league Bill Ewen and trainer Lance No­ble, will be hon­oured at to­day’s Mata­mata race meet­ing.

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